An image of Dr Jon MitchellYear of Graduation: 2014
Degree programme: PhD
 in Polymer Composite Materials
Current job role and organisation: Projects Manager: Nextek Ltd

Why did you choose to study at Imperial? 

The research that was offered to me was in the area that I wanted a career in. I enjoyed polymer science and sustainability and the PhD offered this along with the chance to work with a company to gain industry experience. The chance to study at Imperial College was also a big incentive due to its reputation.

What are your top three memories from your time here?

I made some great friends in many different departments.

I really enjoyed the sports that were on offer. The extra-curricular opportunities that the university offered were incredible.

I also got to travel a lot with the PhD and learnt so much about the industry which really helped my PhD.

Can you tell us about your occupation?

I work for Nextek Ltd who sponsored my PhD at Imperial College. Nextek specialise in sustainable solutions for polymers and recycling. I work on many projects that focus on the difficult to recycle materials and turn them into higher value products. The approach is to work closely with clients to design products for recyclability and improve resource efficiency to deliver effective business outcomes.

What are your ambitions for the future? 

I am really enjoying the work at Nextek working on the latest research and pushing innovative research to industry. I intend to keep this up and keep working on the complex waste challenges facing the industry and help contribute to the circular economy.

What piece of wisdom can you share with our current students?

What I found that really helped me was the work experience I gained in my undergraduate degree. I studied materials engineering that covers many different potential careers. My year in industry sparked my interest in the polymer industry. Therefore, I strongly suggest finding work experience in your holidays or gap years to find out what career path is right for you.

I would also go to lots of networking events in London as this is where you can meet employers, ask lots of questions, and learn more about potential jobs.